HUFFPOLLSTER: How Hillary Clinton Could Win In A Landslide

Current polls suggest it's just as likely as a comeback for Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton has the potential to win big in November. Another set of battleground polls shows how 2016 is reshaping the electoral map. And voters are increasingly concerned about the Supreme Court. This is HuffPollster for Monday, August 15, 2016.

IS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE OVER? - Nate Cohn: “The Upshot’s model gives Mrs. Clinton an 88 percent chance of winning. It’s about the same probability of hitting a field goal from the 20-yard line. That’s a pretty good way to think about it. If Mrs. Clinton ultimately wins, we will probably look back and say she had more or less already won it by this point. If she loses, these next two months will be talked about for decades….The possibility of a landslide victory for Mrs. Clinton — one larger than any since 1984 in the national popular vote — is larger than the chance that Mr. Trump will pull it out. According to The Upshot model, Mrs. Clinton has a better shot at winning the red state of South Carolina than Mr. Trump has at winning the presidency. In that sense, perhaps Mrs. Clinton’s position is more like having a double-digit lead at the beginning of the third quarter….To squeak out a win, Mr. Trump would need to win over enough white working-class voters, particularly white men without a degree, to compensate for his weakness among well-educated voters and Hispanic Republican-leaners, and especially well-educated women. This is what the polls showed when Mr. Trump was in a close race or even ahead — as was the case in May or in early-to-mid July.” [NYT]

WHAT A CLINTON LANDSLIDE MIGHT LOOK LIKE - Nate Silver: “ Trump is a significant underdog — he has a 13 percent chance of winning the election according to our polls-only model and a 23 percent chance according to polls-plus. But those probabilities aren’t that small. For comparison, you have a 17 percent chance of losing a ‘game’ of Russian roulette. But there’s another possibility staring us right in the face: A potential Hillary Clinton landslide….. If this were an ordinary election, the smart money would be on the race tightening down the stretch run, and coming more into line with economic ‘fundamentals’ that suggest the election ought to be close….But the theory behind ‘fundamentals’ models is that economic conditions prevail because most other factors are fought to a draw….Perhaps the strongest evidence for a potential landslide against Trump is in the state-by-state polling, which has shown him underperforming in any number of traditionally Republican states. It’s not just Georgia and Arizona, where polls have shown a fairly close race all year. At various points, polls have shown Clinton drawing within a few percentage points of Trump — and occasionally even leading him — in states such as Utah, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, Kansas and even Mississippi….she’s as likely to win by 14 or 16 points as she is to lose the popular vote to Trump.” [538]

HILLARY CLINTON LEADS ANOTHER ROUND OF BATTLEGROUND POLLS - Anthony Salvanto, on CBS/YouGov polls finding Clinton leading Donald Trump by 5 points in Florida, 9 points in New Hampshire, and trailing by just 4 in Georgia: “Much as in other states we’ve surveyed lately, Clinton has moved out to lead despite relatively low numbers on many attributes and voters’ doubts about her truthfulness. But voters feel Trump is even lower on a few other key measures: only 29 percent in Florida, for instance, feel he has good judgment and temperament, and 71 percent say that does not….the views on Trump’s judgment appear to weigh on him, and he continues to get low marks on ability to be commander-in-chief. Taken together, these findings show just how much the campaign has turned on views of Trump, personally, and those metrics, and less so on policy or on Clinton’s own attributes….So the overall electoral map, based on state-by-state polling throughout the last few weeks, is starting to show a much tougher path for Donald Trump now: He cannot rely simply on flipping a few tight states to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win, but will need to outright reverse a string of Clinton leads to do so.” [CBS]

New Hampshire may be out of reach for Trump - HuffPollster: “HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polls, shows Trump trailing Clinton 34 percent to 40 percent….New Hampshire holds only 4 electoral votes, but as polls show Trump behind in several critical battleground states, he increasingly can’t afford to lose the Granite State. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight polls-only and polls-plus model [project] that if Clinton wins New Hampshire, it could push her to victory, even if she loses in major swing states like Ohio and Florida. CBS/YouGov finds that Trump is losing badly among women in the state, and his chances for recovery in that demographic appear slim. Just 29 percent of New Hampshire women polled say they support Trump, while 51 percent support Clinton. In addition, 91 percent of the state’s female respondents say they are unlikely to change their minds.” [HuffPost]

2016 could reshape the electoral map - Amber Phillips: “If the election were held today, and Clinton won the swing states where she’s currently leading by 10 points or more, along with states that have traditionally voted Democratic and are currently viewed as safe, she would win easily. And so Clinton has started to divert her resources to new terrain. The Washington Post’s John Wagner and Ed O’Keefe reported Tuesday that Clinton is now starting to target Georgia and Arizona, two states that have voted for the Republican candidate for president for the past two decades….Clinton’s success in the usual swing states, and Trump’s struggles in some typically red states, is dramatically reshaping the battleground map….Of course, as we mentioned earlier, winning Republican-led states would be icing on the cake for Clinton, who can still win the presidency without them. If the election really is fought in these states, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be won there. It probably means that it’s already just about over.” [WashPost]

SCOTUS ON THE RISE AS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE - HuffPollster: “Despite the world’s string high-profile terror attacks this year, the economy remains at the top of American voters’ minds, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. A 45 percent plurality name the economy as one of the two issues most important to them, ranking it first on a list of 10 topics. Economic concerns nearly always come out on top of such surveys. Notably, however, the future of the Supreme Court ranks second on the list. Thirty percent of voters cite choosing which party will get to nominate Supreme Court justices as a top concern, placing it ahead of health care, immigration and foreign policy. That’s a dramatic uptick since February, when the Supreme Court issue ranked dead-last among Americans. While Democrats, Republicans and independents all cite the economy as their biggest priority, the list diverges somewhat from there. Democrats and independents’ second- and third-biggest concerns are health care and the Supreme Court, while Republicans name immigration and the Supreme Court.” [HuffPost]

WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT AMERICANS THINK THINGS ARE ON THE WRONG TRACK? - William Jordan: “Americans are worried about their country, there’s no denying it. In the latest YouGov/Economist Poll, more than 6 in 10 Americans say the country is ‘off on the wrong track’, more than double the number who think the country is ‘generally headed in the right direction’...The ‘right direction/wrong track’ question is one pollsters have used for decades, and high ‘wrong track’ numbers are often perceived as bad omens for politicians who represent the status quo. But Democrats in office probably don’t need to worry too much about the widespread dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country – because not everyone blames them. Specifically, many of the people who say the country is on the wrong track don’t lay much blame at the feet of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Democrats in Congress. In fact, according to data from a recent YouGov/Economist Poll, only about 44% of Americans are both dissatisfied with the way things are going and also blame the Democrats ‘a lot’ for the state of things….One explanation is that the elevated ‘wrong track’ numbers are related to growing partisan polarization, combined with continued perceptions of government gridlock, particularly in Congress.” [YouGov]

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MONDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Samantha Neal reviews how Donald Trump supporters differ from other Republican voters. [HuffPost]

-Trump’s support among young voters may be the lowest in modern history. [USA Today]

-About half of Americans say Trump’s “Second Amendment” comments went too far. [YouGov]

-Harry Enten looks at how Hillary Clinton could win without Florida or Ohio. [538]

-Aaron Blake explains the obstacles Democrats would need to overcome to win the House. [WashPost]

-John Sides and Robert P. Jones discuss the decline of white Christian America. [WashPost]

-Most Americans support limited military action in Syria. [WashPost]